Canadian Consulting Engineer: Elevated risk: Vertical transportation and COVID-19
by Canadian Consulting Engineer
COVID-19 has made high-rise buildings difficult to navigate safely
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently shared a research letter, previewing an article to be published in the September 2020 edition of its Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Journal, describing how a single, asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19 generated a cluster of at least 71 cases after returning from the U.S. to China’s Heilongjiang province in the spring. Referred to as ‘case-patient A0,’ she self-quarantined at home. It is believed her downstairs neighbour, case-patient B1.1, was infected via contact with surfaces in their apartment building’s elevator, which they had used at different times.
The study highlights the risk of elevators as contagion vectors. While occupants can easily wear masks, distancing from each other and avoiding touching surfaces are much more difficult in the normal context of vertical transportation.